My interest in genealogy started over twenty-five years ago when a favourite Aunt died. I found myself researching her family and before I knew it I was hooked. Over the years what was a pastime became a passion and now I want to share this with others who may not have the time to research their own family history or live too far away from certain Record Offices to research for themselves. For twenty years I worked at National Trust properties that were open to the public. Over these years my role as Custodian, Administrator and Property Manager involved me in many aspects of research. As guardian of the property archives I often researched for guide books, leaflets and permanent and temporary exhibitions. As such I was able to combine my love of history with that of the places and people who had once lived in the country houses I now looked after. I have a BA(Hons) in English History gained in 1992 with the Open University. For more information about me and the services I offer please visit my web-site.
Based in the North West of England but covering the whole of the United Kingdom, Ancestral Stories offer a range of family history research services that cover the needs of family historians at home and aboard. I recognise that all research requests stem from different starting points. You may live hundreds of miles from a particular record office, or of course live overseas and never have the opportunity to do your own 'hands on' research in the UK. So conducting your own research may, in reality, simply not be cost effective. On the other hand you may live near to a repository, but in a busy world you do not have the time to go. Whatever your motivation is, I can help you achieve your research goal. By consulting with me you are under absolutely no obligation whatsoever to commission my services. I will want to talk through with you what it is you want me to research for you. If after this consultation you do want to commission my services I offer a free initial 1 hour 'desk top' search to kick start the research. I make regular trips to Record Offices and Local Study Libraries of Lancashire, Cheshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Merseyside, Wirral and North East Wales. I am happy to make visits to other locations at the request of clients. Although not an exhaustive list, examples of the kind of documents I search are:-Parish registers, Non Conformist registers, Census returns, Trade directories, Electoral registers, Index to wills and probate, Poor law and workhouse registers, Court records, Quarter Sessions records, Prison registers, Birth, marriage and death indexes, Maps, Overseas births, marriage and death indexes, Cemetery registers, Newspapers, Military records, Passenger lists, Business records. Genealogy v Family History There is often a lively debate about this. The two terms are often used interchangeably. To me Genealogy is the 'step by step' study and search for ancestors (the research that will establish facts), while Family History is then putting these discovered 'facts' about your ancestors into a narrative context and telling your family's story. Where they were born, married, lived, and died. Who they worked for, what occupations they had, did they come into contact with the Law, or did they emigrate? All this and much more is Family History